Tomorrow’s newspaper in Florida is a very different beast! With the increasing availability of instant news and information 24/7, the ‘news’ part of newspapers is rapidly morphing. If I want to know who did what when or what today’s big issue is, whether that be globally, nationally or locally, I have a seemingly unlimited choice of instant news services from which to choose. Even my old mobile phone grants me immediate internet access, meaning keeping up with the Jones’s has never been easier.
So why do we still have newspapers in Florida ? Everyone knows that circulation is plummeting, but a few of us die-hards believe there will always be print. Why? Because it is comfortable. The Y-Gens are still buying their magazines and books because they also enjoy that relaxing slump on the couch with a drink, snacks and an engaging read. The operative word here of course is engaging!
When writing a feature story, one of the first things you must consider is the target audience. Is it for the general public or is it for a specific group of readers? If you are writing for the readers of a lifestyle magazine or for the lifestyle section in the newspaper, for example, you would need to consider whether you should write from the view of a third person or second?
Most feature stories are written from the third person. Exceptions where the second person is used instead is when the story is about 'what you should get', say, for an occasion or a festive season. Seldom is the first person used for feature writing except when the author is the narrating his or her own experience.
Take for example the first paragraph of a feature story on entrepreneurship written in the third person:
- John lost his job two years ago due to the economy downturn. Believing it to be only temporary, he actively seeks employment while upgrading his skills through short-term courses. Today, he is still unemployed. Now at the age of 41, he is forced to consider self-employment and entrepreneurship but is hesitant because he has been an employee his entire working life.
If this first paragraph is written in the second person, it would read:
- You have been an employee your entire working life. Two years ago, you lost your job due to the economy downturn. Believing the downturn to be only temporary, you actively seek employment while upgrading your skills through short-term courses. Today, you are still unemployed.
As you can read from the two approaches, the third person's voice draws the readers into the story better than the second person because there is no need for personal involvement in the story unless it is a call to action. It works fine to use the second person if you are writing for a lifestyle magazine showcasing shopping goods, but not quite fine for a news feature story that aims to convey a message containing facts and advices.
When writing for a news feature story, four components should be considered: anecdotes, quotes, facts, and statements of theme.
An anecdote in a news feature story should be written from a third person as the narrator. The purpose of this is to use content 'pull' to attract readers to a sense of reading a novel or a storybook. For a feature story to be successful, at least one anecdote should be included to help readers visualize the 'reality' of a situation or the life of the person being told in the anecdote.
A feature should also include facts and quotes for angles of human interest. Facts may be research finding that quantify the content of the story, official statistical figures, or actual events witnessed by people:
- According to official figures from the manpower department, unemployment is now at 4.5 percent.
Quotes are actual account of events by witnesses or spoken comments of people interviewed. Quotes can be direct or indirect. For a feature story to be credible and interesting, both direct and indirect quotes are necessary.
A direct quote is the actual spoken words by persons interviewed:
- "I have been an employee my entire working life," said John Doe, 41, a retrenched worker.
An indirect quote is a paraphrased or rephrased writing of actual words spoken by persons interviewed:
- John Doe, 41, said he has been an employee his entire working life.
Statements of theme are sentences that links original theme of the story to various parts of the feature. This is especially useful when there are multiple sections or story points that need to be expanded in different areas of the feature. The objective of statements of theme is to draw the readers back to the main theme of the story.
The feature story is usually written with each paragraph pulling the readers forward to read on to the point of closure or a conclusion or instructions to proceed further. It is usual to end the story by drawing the readers' attention back to the points being told at the lead paragraph, but with added knowledge on the subject.
Newspaper Inserts - Distributing Your Flyers
Newspaper inserts are a cost-effective and guaranteed way to have your flyers delivered directly into the homes of your potential customers. Advertising with full color flyers is a time-tested and proven method of marketing that can generate immediate sales and help your company with branding.
What is a newspaper insert?
A newspaper insert is simply a flyer that is distributed into homes or news stands via the newspaper. Once your flyer is placed into it becomes a "newspaper insert" which is also commonly referred to as a preprint, P&D, and/or Free Standing Insert (FSI).
Do you have an effective newspaper insert?
Before you even think about inserting your flyer into the newspaper you will want to make sure you have a great design. Here are a few things to consider when designing a newspaper insert for your small business.
- Do you have attractive graphics and an overall high quality flyer?
- Do you have a "call to action" such as a sale, promotion, or special event?
- Have you included (easy to find) contact information?
- Does your flyer stand out from the competition?
- Do you have a way to track results such as a coupon or phone line?
- Have you had a professional designer create or review your flyer?
What are the benefits of newspaper inserts?
- More cost effective than direct mail, shared mail, radio, and television.
- Guaranteed delivery into thousands of homes.
- Targeted by zip code and demographics.
- Generate instant responses and sales.
- Time-tested method of marketing that yield great results.
- Lends credibility to your business and build your brand.
- Newspapers are a trusted source of information in your community.
- Newspaper inserts typically remain in homes for 2-3 days after delivery
- ....and the list could go on!
Don't throw away your small business advertising dollars. They are a smart, safe, and cost-effective way to launch a successful advertising campaign within your community.
Copyright © 2007 Taradel, LLC. All rights reserved.
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